Friday, June 14, 2013

Meet The New Boss

And so we add Syria to the long list of nations fortunate enough to benefit from our glorious military largesse.

As if from nowhere, it appears that our leaders have decided that while eighty thousand deaths were an acceptable expense, ninety thousand is now intolerable.  In a matter of days, evidence of chemical weapons use that was once sketchy and unreliable has miraculously engorged itself to convincing solidity.

We might ask ourselves - what changed? A vicious, barbarous civil war remains vicious and barbarous; its participants remain murderous and its victims terrorised and pitiable.

In reality, only one aspect has changed, but it's a biggie - the side that we like least from two terrible options has begun to rack up some clear victories.

So you'll pardon me if I don't join in the chorus of We Can't Sit Back And Do Nothing when plainly, sitting back and doing nothing has suited our leaders just fine, provided that it was our favoured faction that was in the ascendency.  You'll notice that William Hague's outrage has waxed and waned with the rebels' military gains and losses, much as Vladimir Putin's has in equal and opposite terms.

After all, what does President Obama intend to achieve by shoving more and better rifles into the hands of the losing side?

Not victory for the rebels, since he himself has repeatedly told us that handing out guns to one side in a sectarian bloodbath will only ratchet up the bodycount without winning the war.

Not a negotiated peace, since President Obama has repeatedly told us that peace is only acceptable to him if it's made on terms that are unacceptable to the regime.

What can arming the rebels achieve, then?  Reader, let me lay this on you - arming the rebels will keep the war going; it will grind down the enemy factions gratifyingly and, as a highly regrettable yet entirely foreseeable consequence, it'll also keep that pile of dead civvies growing indefinitely.

But hey, we've all got to go some time, right?

This is the heart and soul of it. It's not the murdering or the bombing that we find intolerable, it's the losing...  And by appearances, it seems like we're willing to fight Assad and his allies right down to the last Syrian.

If this strikes you as ultra-cynical then I have to ask you - what was it in our leaders' recent behaviour that led you to believe that they regard anything at all in Syria as "intolerable"?

Certainly not sectarian slaughter, since some of the worst Iraqi death squads ended their war on the American payroll. Not ethnic cleansing or executions, since we spent the Libyan war providing air cover for the persecution of that unhappy nation's black African populace.

We plainly don't object to massive bombardments of basically incarcerated populations, since ourselves and our allies have played that game enthusiastically for the last decade, from North Africa to the Tigris.

We're clearly fine with all of the enormities of modern warfare, to the extent that we have entire PR departments, publications and a cottage industry of thinktanks dedicated to finessing the politics of our own democratically-inclined destruction.

And these are the people we're to trust with another "humanitarian intervention" in the Middle East?  These theoretically-reluctant bombers with their eternal outbursts of supposedly-accidental mayhem and chaos?

Unless we're using the term "humanitarian" in the same way that we'd talk about a vegetarian intervention at the salad bar, I suspect the results might belie the moniker.

Anyway. All of this must seem alien and insane to many, but if I can offer one piece of advice on this situation, it'd go like this...

Every major political actor involved in this godawful catastrophe is lying about their intentions, be they dictator or democrat, and not one of them fears inflating the horror more than they fear backing the losing side... And every single one of them is willing to get people killed in large numbers to get what they want.

Ah, needless and super-destructive Cold War proxy conflicts.  How I've missed you, and the gibbering cavalcade of outrageous, offensively obvious horseshit explosions you proliferate in every direction.

4 comments:

john b said...

It occurs to me, perhaps unfairly, that if you win a war, then you have to put people into the country where said war has been won.

And if terrorist nutbags murder those people, despite the fact that they were frontline diplomats who knew what they were signing up for and basically only a liar or a lunatic would claim anything had been handled wrongly, then people try and have you impeached.

So ensuring that there's a war ongoing that you're committed to, but haven't won, lost, or killed any Americans at is the optimum, defusing all of the things from which all of the recent presidents have suffered.

Asteri said...

I was directed to Terry Galvin - not somewhere I wanted to go.

Strategist said...

As if from from nowhere, it appears that our leaders have decided that while eighty thousand deaths were an acceptable expense, ninety thousand is now intolerable. In a matter of days, evidence of chemical weapons use that was once sketchy and unreliable has miraculously engorged itself to convincing solidity.

Interesting thought - Nowhere was Watford

Dunc said...

Well, this post may have been slightly premature originally, but I see reality's catching up nicely.